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If exploring and traveling were animals, exploring would be a coyote, and traveling would be a wolf.

Traveling is like a big diva wolf. It requires more specifics to thrive like exotic locations, expensive meals, and thrives with bragging rights.

The coyote on the other hand is a hardy beast that is found everywhere – wandering the streets of Chicago to the lackluster suburbs of Iowa you’ll find a yote.

The point of this mangy story is that exploring is about experiencing the world we live in and how it influences our internal awareness. It’s an expansion internally as much as it is externally.

Grab your carryon luggage and life list!

MAKE IT RAIN MONEY OR MEMORIES

Traveling is expensive. Typically when people embark upon traveling they mention far-off destinations like Bali, Cape Town, or New York.

Whereas exploring can include closer excursions like a local park, a pub, or a new ax-throwing venue. Ah, the joys of modern life where you can pay someone to let you throw axes.

EMBRACE THE POSSIBILITIES

Travel is saturated in the YOLO mentality. Traveling has become something to brag about to your favorite social medial platform of choice.

Exploring is about opportunity. Exploring is all about saying yes to the next new opportunity. It may be yes to a dinner with a new acquaintance or yes to helping out at a festival. Exploring invites opportunity, whereas travel is all about what will accumulate the most likes.

THE JOURNEY IS MORE ENRICHING THAN THE DESTINATION

There have been times when the journey is more interesting than the destination. This is the war-cry of exploring because traveling is all about getting to the destination as quickly and as painlessly as possible.

Whereas when you explore the journey starts as soon as you leave the house, sometimes it starts before you leave the house! If you are exploring and crazy things occur (like your bag explodes, you get smuggled into a hotel room, and your clothes gets stolen*) then its apart of the expedition.

*True events. As I was getting processed out of the Navy, it included some extra colorful experiences.

PHOTOSHOP VERSUS UNFILTERED

Exploring is all about learning. Getting immersed in an environment and incorporating it into your life’s tapestry of experiences.

Traveling is all about the superficial experiences while still enjoying your latte at Starbucks.

Explorers have a history of sharing their experiences to enhance a bigger cause. Exploring is about making an impact even if it’s in a small way like correcting people’s assumptions about different cultures. For example, living on an aircraft carrier is nothing like living on a cruise ship. All. The. No.

EXPLORING IS BETTER THAN TRAVELING. SOMETIMES THE TRUTH HURTS.

Travel involves going from destination to the next. After a brief experience, a person moves on, never to look back. Then the process is rinsed and repeated.

Exploring is a process that builds momentum as the journey continues. Experiences are supporting a new vision and knowledge of what it is to be human. Humans are the worst and best of this Homosapien story.

EXPLORER FOR LIFE

Now that I have spouted off the five wonders of exploring, I realize that this is not always possible.

I fall into the traveling trap too. I have social media accounts and I feed it with the best of my superficial, idyllic endeavors. Sure, you see me at the top of Mt. Wright but what you don’t know is that a 5-year-old could have hiked up there faster and better than me. All you see is me staring steely-eyed into a storm.

However, that doesn’t mean I can’t strive to be better. After all, my biggest regrets are surrounded by opportunities missed like turning down a chance to backpack through Europe with a friend. What an epic mistake that was!

What do you think? Do you think exploring is better than traveling? Or are you a little more of, “I don’t care I just need the Rona to be over!”

Keep exploring!

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